Posted by: gaybatumi | May 18, 2019

Another bloody May 17


“We will beat up these (LGBT) people”  – “…and this is not violence!”  –  Georgian March!

Queer rights activists abstained from holding a demonstration in Tbilisi for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia over safety concerns.

On 17 May hundreds of people, including priests, churchgoers and far-right groups took to the streets to protest ‘sodomy’.

Some of them came out to celebrate Family Purity Day, a holiday created by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014, a year after thousands of people led by priests attacked several dozen queer rights demonstrators in the city.

 

After warnings from far-right groups that anti-homophobic demonstrations would be met with violence, the Equality Movement, Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group, and other queer rights groups decided to limit themselves to online campaigns only on Friday.

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Tbilisi Marks International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on the 17th of May. In 2013, religious fanatics and right-wing, neo-Nazi groups, including several clerics attacked the representatives of the LGBT community. The police had to rescue and evacuate the beaten pro-LGBT rights rally participants on buses.

In 2014 Ilia II, the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, came up with the idea to declare 17 May as a Family Holiness Day. Since then, every year on 17 May, a procession with icons and crosses takes place on Rustaveli Avenue, led by Orthodox priests.

According to the LGBT community, religious and political extremist groups have turned the streets of Tbilisi dangerous for them and they are not planning any event today. They will mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia during 18-23 June. The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969.

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